Special Statement for New Jersey Lifeguards 8/16/2020

Special Statement to New Jersey Lifeguards & Beach Patrols from NJSAF

There have been reports of possible Bull Sharks in the Navesink Estuary.

Bull Sharks can reach lengths of 10′, but are typically 5 to 8′ in NJ waters.

The scientific name of the Bull Shark is Carcharhinus leucas.

Bull Sharks have been known to enter brackish and fresh waters.

There have been four historical incidents involving Bull Sharks in the Navesink.

Bull sharks are responsible for more documented NJ attacks than any other species.

Bull sharks are attracted to warm waters, such as we have right now along the Jersey Shore.

Bull sharks feed on a variety of marine life along the Jersey Coast. Cow Nose Rays are very common now and are a known food supply.

Bull sharks congregate near the mouths of rivers and inlets on the Jersey Shore.

Bull sharks tend to swim near the bottom when close to the shore making detection hard in turbid waters.

Bull sharks are known to repeatedly attack their prey.

They typically attack from the real and below.

Bull sharks are most active at night.


If sighted guards should:

Remove all bathers and surfers from the water.

Notify the New Jersey Marine Police.

Display the purple dangerous marine life flag.

Keep waters closed until given the all clear by authorities.


In the event of an attack:

Remove the victim ASAP as continued attacks are likely.

Call 911

Administer first aid.

Assist EMS with access to the victim.

Take the above steps to close the waters.

NJSAF Special Statements for Lifeguards & Beach Patrols are meant to provide guards with quick facts on dangerous marine life topics to aid in decision making and educating the public.